The ice cream cone-shaped island best known as Governors Island has always been one of my go-to hidden gems in New York City. It’s the ideal place to visit when the wanderlust bugs bite, or during the times when you’re craving to be among nature, quietness and relaxation. Its easy accessibility via a short ferry ride from the lower Manhattan area of the city, makes getting to the island an easy and fun commute to look forward to.
The Hills– New York City’s newest landmark is the island’s latest installment of fun. Ten new equipped acres of land give the right amount of activities to make your day trip visit a fun one for the entire family. Rising hills measuring 25 to 70 feet above the Island serve as platforms showcasing 360-degree breathtaking views of the New York harbor, Brooklyn, Jersey City and the Manhattan skyline. One World Trade Center can be seen from one side and Lady Liberty from another.
Outlook Hill is equipped with paths and Scramble that allow short-cut access to the peak. The Scramble is made out of reclaimed granite seawall blocks. Discovery Hill, the artiest of them all, features a site-specific permanent installation from Turner-Prize winning British artist Rachel Whiteread. “Cabin” is a concrete cast replica of a wooden New England style shed that will time the surrounding greenery will join itself naturally among the installation, giving the cabin a weathered feel. Discovery and Outlook Hill are made to be resilient against projected flooding and storms.
During the day of our visit, more than 70 percussionists came together to perform John Luther Adam’s “Inuksuit” The outdoor presentation delivered an avant-garde approach to sound and music which complemented the ethereal natural environment of the land. The Inuksuit Band gathered an array of musicians, including drummers Greg Saunier (Deerhoof) and Brian Chase (Yeah Yeah Yeahs), and members of many of NYCs top percussion groups and schools.
Can you spot one of the musicians up on the hill below?
Grassy Hill is the one made for naps and lazy time on the lawn. The 26-foot high grassy hill also provides its visitors with a beautiful view of Manhattan and the surrounding areas of the island. Big kids, little, young and old love Slide Hill the most. The 36-foot high hill houses four new slides, including the longest slide in New York City measuring three stories tall.
“Our Hills are the culmination of an eight-year collaboration with West 8 and the many New Yorkers and visitors who contributed ideas to this ambitious project,”
Leslie Koch, President of the The Trust for Governors Island
Landscape Architecture Firm West 8 took into consideration recent projections of sea-level rising for The Hills’ design strategic approach. The firm aimed to create a park that would be able to withstand the troubling and growing weather patterns as a result of climate change. During storm Sandy in 2012, the park sustained itself and left with minimal damage thanks to West 8’s design technique.
“While the Hills provide striking vistas and comfortable settings for relaxation and play, they also improve the island’s resilience in the face of increasingly dramatic weather patterns and rising sea levels”
Don’t loose your chance to getaway to the island equipped for the future.Governors Island 2016’s season is almost near.
The island will remain open through September 25th.
Photos By:Erica Genece
Special thanks Krystle Ansari for the custom Cuff and Neck piece inspired by The Hills